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This is a project I've been planning on for more than a year now. Fair warning though, if you were hoping to see a highly skilled woodworker craft a top quality garden gate, you may be disappointed. F

The final step for the actual construction stage of the gate is to insert the diagonal brace in the back (light blue board). I started by clamping the board in place on the back of the gate so I could

OK, let's wrap this up. Before the gate could be hung there were a few small finishing steps. Of course I had to make mounting posts on which the gate would hang. These consisted of simple boards join

I think you already know wood is dynamic and expands/contracts cross grain. It doesn't move much in length. The mullions have been placed into dados in the rails at right angles. There isn't anywhere for the mullions to expand into as they are meeting what is now the end grain of each dado "pocket" (the cross rail and dado pockets will maintain its length in varying humidity). Any potential stress point is at the bottom of the square corner of the dado. As the grain is running in the direction of a stress point as soon as the mullion expands something has got to give - it could start a crack along the grain. Either the mullion will push outwards or the small section of the cross rail at the dado will crack along the grain and fall off.

If the mid rail had been the same section as the top rail and mortises cut in it instead of lapjoints there would be no issue with bits falling off as there is meat surrounding the entire joint. It might locally crack but wouldn't come apart.

The lower rail is the right scale but maybe if the mullions hadn't been restrained from moving (no lap joints in other words) I wouldn't have picked up on it.

Google crossgrain wood expansion - you may find some stuff. Marc has an article here that may give a few pointers.

The thing about this is not to worry or lose any sleep as any future issues can be fixed. I hope I have an unnecessary concern here and it might not happen :)

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Thanks guys. I have to stress that this is a first for me. I took woodworking as an extra subject in secondary school, back in the years when that was still an option, but that's been so many years ago that I feel like I'm starting from scratch.

I think it was @Janello who mentioned my "interesting" joinery in an earlier comment. I'm sure some of it must be interesting as I basically sucked it from my thumb but I'm not convinced that they're always the best. Please feel free to point out where my joinery are unconventional or less than ideal and what the more conventional ways would be to do things.

I set out on this project expecting, and hoping, to learn a few things and so far I've certainly learned some useful lessons already. But I'm all ears if more experienced woodworkers has critique or advice for me.


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This has been awesome to follow along with. The gate looks great and i really like the look of that wood. It's cool being able to see what people can make in different countries with local woods. I hope to see more from ya in the future.

As for critique this is outside of my zone of knowledge.

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  • 3 weeks later...
12 minutes ago, wtnhighlander said:

Looks great, Dewald! I never heard of Outdoor Danish Oil. Good to know there is such a product.

If I'm being perfectly honest, I think I would've preferred the ordinary Danish Oil. I'm not even sure in what aspects the two differ really but this outdoor product is also quick drying and I don't think that was too great an idea. I'd pour a little bit on the wood but then, while I'm rubbing it in on one side, it runs off the other side and by the time I get there to rub it in, it's already made run marks and started drying, making it very hard to rub out.

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3 hours ago, TerryMcK said:

Shame the hook and band hinges didn't fit - save them for another gate - but the Tee hinges will be fine. Glad you fixed the crappy screw issue.

Yeah, I already have another passage in the garden behind the swimming pool house which I'm thinking of blocking off with a gate. The hook and band hinges will come in handy for that. And this time I'll take their design into consideration while building the gate.

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